Easter tourism packs Port Stephens accommodation, beaches full across long weekend

A bumper Easter long weekend was a sure thing for Port Stephens if the weather stayed warm and clear.

It delivered.

Many accommodation hubs were reportedly at capacity, beaches full and tourism operators kept busy by the large number of visitors to the area for the four-day break.

Camel rides on Birubi Beach appeared to be particularly popular among visitors.

Oakfield Ranch owner Rod Sansom said “great weather” after weeks of on-and-off again rain coupled with warm water was the recipe to the Port’s Easter success, as well his business.

Camel rides on Birubi Beach were so popular that two tours of eight camels, each able to carry two passengers, every 20 minutes was not enough to keep up with queues.

“We were really busy all weekend,” Mr Sansom said. 

“There’s been some times where people have had to wait up to an hour and a half. 

“But it’s been really good, and it has to be really good for the area, too, with so many people around.”

Mr Sansom said many customers he had spoken to indicated that they were from Sydney, but others hailed from further afield such as Ireland and France.

EXPERIENCE: Andy Au and Tiffany Lau, from Sydney, enjoyed a camel ride at Birubi Beach on Easter Monday. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

EXPERIENCE: Andy Au and Tiffany Lau, from Sydney, enjoyed a camel ride at Birubi Beach on Easter Monday. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Andy Au and Tiffany Lau, university students from Sydney, visited Port Stephens Sunday to Tuesday.

They enjoyed a camel ride on Easter Monday.

“We came here for the sand dunes,” Mr Au said. 

“We’ve never been here before and wanted a bit of a vacation. It’s been great, really relaxing.”

Winning Holidays welcomed more than 2000 guests in their 400 properties across the weekend.

Last Wednesday, two days before Good Friday, Winning Holidays was booked to 95 per cent capacity.

Nicole Finlayson, Winning Holiday’s business development manager, said anticipated more bookings would come through on the Friday.

“Easter is always 100 per cent full if the weather is nice,” she said. 

“You can guarantee it.

“Boxing Day, the following week, the October long weekend and Easter is always 90 to 95 per cent full.”

Ms Finlayson said a lot of the bookings were for the full four days.